Grilled Mozzarella Sandwich

5 from 217 votes

This Grilled Mozzarella Sandwich is made with fresh tomatoes and walnut pesto grilled with sourdough bread. It's easy to assemble and bursting with flavor!

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This delicious grilled mozzarella sandwich is perfect to make when you want something fresh with a gourmet quality, but don’t want to go to a restaurant. Homemade walnut pesto, fresh tomatoes and melted mozzarella make every bite full of flavor. Be sure to make a double batch of the pesto so you can whip up a tasty sandwich later on in the week.

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Grilled Mozzarella Sandwich made with walnut pesto, tomatoes and roasted red peppers

How to make grilled mozzarella sandwich – step by step

To make the pesto

Place the basil, garlic, walnuts and Parmesan cheese in the food processor; season with salt and pepper, to taste, and blend. While the food processor is on, pour the olive oil slowly into the mixture in order to allow the olive oil to emulsify.

Collage showing how to make walnut pesto before and after blending in food processor

To assemble the sandwiches

You will need some sourdough bread sliced about ½ inch thick, whole mozzarella cheese, the pesto you just successfully whipped up, along with large tomato slices and roasted red pepper.

Ingredients to make the recipes: bread, pesto, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and roasted red peppers

Next, you’ll want to spread the pesto on four slices of the sourdough bread, and place two of the slices right on the panini maker with the pesto side up.

Spreading walnut pesto on the bread before assembling and grilling

The assembly all happens in the panini maker, like this one (or toaster oven or grill pan). Add the mozzarella cheese on right away, and give it a minute to settle in and start melting. Start piling the tomatoes and roasted red peppers (carefully).

Two open faced sandwiches in the panini topped with tomatoes and roasted red peppers

And then, close the sandwich with the remaining bread (pesto side down) and close the panini maker. This is seriously the hardest part of the recipe. The type of bread you use and how high you stack the sandwich can really make or break the sandwich. You want to lightly press on the sandwich so we don’t end up with a pressed pile of cheesy bread (although I have done it and it is delicious still haha!)

Sandwich assembled in the panini before grilling

You’ll know it’s done when the bread is crispy and golden brown and the mozzarella cheese is melty. It’s a sandwich recipe that looks totally gourmet and tastes out of this world!

Sandwich after coming off the panini

Tips for making grilled mozzarella sandwich

  1. Don’t have a panini maker? This panini maker is great, or you can use a toaster oven to achieve the same result (minus those pretty grill lines). You can also use a grill pan or regular pan to make this sandwich recipe.
  2. Don’t have a food processor? Just buy store-bought pesto! But really, if you can find a way to make your own pesto, it really takes this sandwich to another level.
  3. Make sure you use the freshest ingredients you can for maximum flavor. That is especially true for the basil and the mozzarella cheese.
  4. Use thick sturdy sourdough bread that is not airy on the inside to ensure the sandwich stays put when you press on it in the panini maker.
Grilled Mozzarella Sandwich made with walnut pesto, tomatoes and roasted red peppers

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a grilled mozzarella sandwich healthy?

One sandwich comes in at under 450 calories, so even though it’s not low in calories, it’s certainly better for you than a lot of store bought sandwiches. Making your own pesto is certainly a healthier option than buying store bought because there aren’t preservatives or milk or other unnecessary ingredients added. To make the sandwich lighter, you can use whole wheat bread which contains more fiber, and you can use a low fat mozzarella if you so wish.

How do you make homemade walnut pesto?

Pesto is so easy to make at home. We are all so used to buying the jarred stuff, but fresh is always better! Use a good olive oil, super fresh basil leaves (or any greens really) and some nuts. Add the dry ingredients to a food processor, and while they are combining, slowly pour in the olive oil. Easy! Be sure to make an extra batch and stir it into fresh pasta!

Mozzarella Grilled Sandwich stacked with basil on the side

For more delicious sandwich recipes:

I really hope you enjoy this grilled mozzarella sandwich recipe as much as we did! It’s so easy to put together, full of vibrant green pesto, beautiful ripe tomatoes and melted mozzarella cheese – truly a fresh and fabulous sandwich recipe.

If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Grilled Mozzarella Sandwich recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

Grilled Mozzarella Sandwich

This Grilled Mozzarella Sandwich is made with fresh tomatoes and walnut pesto grilled with sourdough bread. It’s easy to assemble and bursting with flavor!
5 from 217 votes
Servings 4 servings
Course Sandwich
Calories 449
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 15 mins

Ingredients
  

For the Sandwich

  • 4 slices sourdough bread
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese sliced
  • 1 large tomato sliced
  • 2 oz roasted red peppers jarred

For the Pesto

  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Instructions

  • To make the pesto, place the basil, garlic, walnuts and Parmesan cheese in the food processor; season with salt and pepper, to taste, and blend. While the food processor is on, pour the olive oil slowly into the mixture in order to allow the olive oil to emulsify.
  • Spread the pesto equally on the 4 slices of bread and place two slices of bread on the panini maker or in a toaster oven for 2 minutes.
  • Then place the mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and roasted red peppers on top of two bread slices and allow the cheese to melt and the veggies to soften, keeping the panini maker open.
  • Once the cheese starts to melt, add the second slices on top to close the sandwiches, then close the panini maker for 2-3 minutes. Remove, slice in half and serve immediately

Video

Notes

Storage: Leftover pesto should be covered and stored in the refrigerator, it will keep fresh for one week. I would not recommend storing the sandwich though for more than a couple hours. If you have sandwich leftovers, it’s best to reheat using a toaster oven or panini maker.
Make Ahead Tips: You can make the pesto up to one week in advance and then use in the the grilled sandwich when you’re ready.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However here are some common substitutes that would work well in this recipe.
  • Instead whole mozzarella, you can use shredded mozzarella. Although I think it creates a completely different flavor and texture to the sandwich.
  • Instead of walnuts, you can use other nuts, like pine nuts, almonds or pecans, to make the pesto
Equipment: I use the Kitchen Aid 7-Cup Food processor Kitchen Aid 11-Cup Food Processor to to make the pesto. It has a high and low pulse speed so you can make the pesto as smooth or chunky as you’d like. And it has a 3-in-1 wide mouth feed tube to make it easier to slowly add olive oil while the machine is running.
It’s so fun to make sandwiches in my panini maker. I have the Cuisinart 5-in-1 Griddler – pretty much a magic appliance in my kitchen that does so much! If you don’t have a panini grill, you can use a skillet and cook the sandwich for 2 minutes per side, pressing down with a spatula as you cook.
Nutrition: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.  This information should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. The nutrition value is for one serving which is one whole sandwich (half the recipe)

Nutrition

Serving: 1g, Calories: 449kcal, Carbohydrates: 41g, Protein: 16g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 24mg, Sodium: 742mg, Potassium: 302mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 960IU, Vitamin C: 16.1mg, Calcium: 224mg, Iron: 3mg

And here’s the original photo I took back on February 27, 2017. I had major stacking skills!

This Mozzarella Sandwich is made with fresh tomatoes and walnut pesto grilled with sourdough bread. It's easy to assemble and bursting with flavor!

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Grilled Mozzarella Sandwich made with walnut pesto, tomatoes and roasted red peppers

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